June 6, 2014

June 9 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The June 9 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click Here to print entire Digest.

PEC: Any Severance Tax Should Go First To Environmental Restoration, Protection
Davitt Woodwell, Executive Vice President for PA Environmental Council, issued the following statement Monday on state budget negotiations and the potential for a severance tax on natural gas development.
“Many legislators in the General Assembly are introducing new legislation that would enact a severance tax on natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, and with it, bring an end to desperately-needed shale gas revenues for environmental protection.

Wolf Urges Action On Severance Tax Now, His Has No $$$ For Environmental Restoration
Democratic candidate for Governor Tom Wolf Tuesday urged members of the General Assembly and Gov. Corbett to enact a five percent natural gas severance tax to help address the state’s budget deficit this year.  
Unfortunately, the severance tax proposal Tom Wolf has made would not invest any of the revenue in environmental restoration and protection programs and projects.

Gas Drillers Pay $225.7 Million In Impact Fees For 2013, 11.5% More Than 2012
The Tribune Review reported Monday afternoon the Public Utility Commission collected 11.5 percent more in drilling impact fees for 2013 than it did in 2012.
The PUC collected $225.75 million for impact fees in 2013, up from $202.4 million for 2012 and $204.2 million in 2011 totalling $632.35 million for the first three years of the program.
The PUC also made available a list of how much money each county and municipalities will receive from the 2013 impact fees.

Court Told DCNR Did Not Recommend Additional Natural Gas Leasing On State Land
StateImpact, the Post-Gazette and the Patriot-News Wednesday reported Dan Devlin, DCNR Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forests, said DCNR did not recommend leasing additional State Park and Forest land for natural gas drilling, but added “as long as there is no surface disturbance, and we have control of the lease,” he was comfortable with the Corbett plan.
Devlin added the first he heard of the plan for leasing additional land was a few days before the Governor announced his budget in February.

House GOP Preparing Bare-Bones Budget, Including Keystone Fund Transfer Option
The Morning Call reported Thursday House Republicans are putting together a “bare-bones” $28.6 billion General Fund budget which would match expenditures with expected revenues and deal with an estimated $1.6 billion budget deficit.
The bare-bones option would also not assume any potential savings from adoption of pension reform measures or any revenue from a tax increase or any new taxes.
Pennsylvania collected $1.9 billion in General Fund revenue in May, which was $108 million, or 5.5 percent, less than anticipated, Secretary of Revenue Daniel Meuser reported Monday. Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $25.8 billion, which is $532.5 million, or 2 percent, below estimate.  Click Here for more details.